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Wednesday, November 2, 2016
What roles do we play in our relations with various people? When this topic came up in an al-Anon meeting, a member suggested that each of us might take a closer look at our attitudes toward our families. He pointed out that here, at the Al-Anon meeting, we were often cheerful, willing to accept the program, hopeful that it would work for us.

“But do we,” he asked, “always present the same pleasant face to the alcoholic and to our children? Or do we often scowl and scold, admonish and complain, so the picture we present of ourselves at home is that of boss, mentor and disapprover?”

If my attitude at home is habitually glum and critical, I will try to change this by observing what I say and do, and how my family reacts. I will not reserve my deference and respect for outsiders whom I want to please or my pleasant expressions for those I want to impress. The people I live with are worthy of my best behavior, and will surely respond to the respect and loving kindness which, without meaning to, I may have withheld from them.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs

 ** I don't think I habitually act like the disapprover, but I sometimes still do.  This has been a big change for me.  Hubby spent the night in the garage tonight.  There is a good chance it was because he was drinking.  It was COLD outside!  I appreciate that he respected us enough to stay in the garage if he was drinking.  In the past, I would ask him if he drank, be disapproving, etc.  Now, when he returns I will probably acta  little awkward with him (because I'm relatively new to this), but welcome him home.  Kindness replaces bossiness.  I am so grateful for these tools! and I def. still have my moments, but overwhelmingly, there has been positive change.

Step Two states that we “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Recently at a meeting I heard someone paraphrase this Step in a way that perfectly described my own experience: “First I came, then I ‘came to’, then I came to believe.”

The journey toward a Higher Power has been so gradual for me that I have been unaware of much of it. There has been no burst of light, no burning brush — just a gradual clearing of the fog that I lived in before finding recovery in Al-Anon. Like my fellow member, first I came, bringing my body, if not my faith, to Al-Anon. Then, once I was here, slowly I “came to,” and eventually I came to believe that I wasn’t alone in the universe. There was and is a force, a drive, an energy that can give me the means to make my life joyous and productive. I need only ask for assistance and keep an open mind.

Today’s Reminder
 The arrival of faith in my life has been a gradual process. This process continues and grows stronger each day I keep myself open to it. Perhaps acknowledging this process will help me when I am impatient with the twists and turns of life.
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.“ Oliver Wendell Holmes

A part of Al-Anon not often discussed, but essential to the program's survival, is our business meetings. Personally I like them. I rarely had a say in the daily functioning of my alcoholic home, even when the decisions affected me. Now I know I have a voice in my Al-Anon family. I feel sad when some members hasten for the door before the business meetings begin, believing this process has nothing to do with recovery.

To me recovery is intertwined with service, and the business of Al-Anon is about service performed by the entire group. The Traditions keep us focused on the business of service. For example, part of Tradition Five helps us focus on Al-Anon's reason for being-helping families and friends of alcoholics. We do this by opening and setting up the meeting room, providing Conference Approved Literature, paying rent, and participating in and supporting the various service arms of the fellowship.

Someone needs to take responsibility for the service functions of our worldwide fellowship, and that "someone" is each of us, the individual groups. Because we are fully self-supporting, as Tradition Seven states, no one else provides funds for the business we carry out to keep the fellowship available to others who still need help.

Al-Anon didn't just happen. There were and are many people behind the scenes making sure it survives. A group that pays attention to its affairs in all areas is a healthy group. To do my part, all it takes is a little willingness to attend the business meetings and to keep an open mind.

Thought for the Day
Attending a business meeting might be my stepping-stone into service and a deeper level of recovery.

 "Service helps me stretch my boundaries. Taking risks helps me grow. and Al-Anon is a safe place to do just that take a risk and grow," When I Got Busy. I Got Better, p. I 


  1. Passage 1: guilty, guilty, guilty. But I'm afraid he'll mistake kindness for approval.

    Passage 2: I like that paraphrase. I can relate. No big moments I can pinpoint but gradual clearing of fog.

    Passage 3: I'm going to apply this to how I feel about my church business meetings.